Nov. 11, 2015
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue women's basketball head coach Sharon Versyp announced the signing of three players to national letters of intent Wednesday, welcoming Miracle Gray, Ae'Rianna Harris and Dominique Oden to the Boilermaker family. The trio earned the No. 26 ranking from ESPN Hoopgurlz, and will join Purdue for the 2016-17 academic school year.
"These three are fantastic basketball players, with great minds for the game, but even more important are the type of people they are," said Versyp. "When you have great people, who are also great basketball players, special things can happen. That's what we have in mind for this group."
Harris comes to West Lafayette as they most nationally-heralded Boilermaker since 2008, earning a five-star rating and the No. 20 ranking from ESPN Hoopgurlz. With game-changing leaping ability and athleticism, she has the ability to become one of the top rebounders and shot-blockers in school history. Standing 6-foot-1, Harris has the ability to dunk the basketball and runs the floor exceptionally well.
In addition to her abilities on the defensive end, Harris has a rapidly expanding offensive game. Her ability to quickly get off the floor and elevate to the rim make her shots very difficult to block and she can finish with either hand inside. Harris' athleticism also makes her a huge factor in the up-tempo game as she's able to get out and beat other post players down the floor for easy layups.
"It's hard to accurately describe how much Ae'Rianna brings to the table," said Versyp. "Her rebounding, defense and shot blocking will have an immediate impact on our team and the entire conference. She's a special player, a fantastic person and I can't wait to get her in a Boilermaker uniform."
â€¢ Has earned three varsity letters at Ben Davis (2013, 2014) and Lawrence North (2015) High Schools
â€¢ Led her team to the Indiana High School 4A State semifinals in 2015, grabbing 12 boards in the semifinal loss
â€¢ Averaged 9.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game in 2014-15, shooting 61% from the field
â€¢ Named to the All-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference team in 2014 and 2015
â€¢ Earned a spot on the 2015 preseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA Indy-area girls basketball team
â€¢ Averaged 10.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game at Ben Davis as a sophomore
â€¢ Named to the honor roll at Ben Davis in 2013, in addition to having perfect attendance
PERSONAL â€¢ Full name is Ae'Rianna N. Harris
â€¢ Born Sept. 16, 1998 in Indianapolis, Indiana
â€¢ Is the daughter of LaJuan and Erica Harris
â€¢ Has two brothers, Xavier and Gerin, and two sisters, Jazlyn and Yesenia
â€¢ Intends to major in human services
â€¢ High school coach is Christopher Griffin, and was coached at Ben Davis by Joe Lentz
â€¢ Named a five-star recruit and the No. 20 overall player (No. 6 forward) in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz
â€¢ Ranked No. 61 overall by JumpOffPlus/Prospectnation.com
â€¢ Plays AAU with the Indy Lady Gym Rats, where she has won several tournaments
â€¢ Other outstanding team performances include the 2015 Nike National runners-up, the 2014 AAU National Championship runners-up and the 2012 AAU National Champions
Gray is a fantastic addition to the Boilermaker backcourt, where she'll serve as a combo guard for the Old Gold and Black. The Georgia native has a very high basketball IQ and great leadership ability on both ends of the floor. Fundamentally sound in all facets of the game, Gray has a high assist:turnover ratio and is an excellent outside shooter.
Gray has fantastic basketball genes in her family as sister, Nadine Morgan, was a standout at James Madison before becoming part of the Boilermaker staff as the associate head coach, while her other sister, Angel Gray, played at Florida State and is now a sideline analyst for the WNBA's Atlanta Dream and Fox Sports 1.
"Miracle's best asset is her leadership ability," said Versyp. "No matter what she does, she makes others around her better. It doesn't matter if it's in practice, the classroom or competition, she elevates everyone around her, and that's really exciting as a coach. You need players like that to be successful."
â€¢ Full name is Miracle Samara Gray
â€¢ Born Oct. 10, 1997, in Decatur, Georgia
â€¢ Daughter of Robert and Cherri Gray
â€¢ Has two brothers, Nick Jones and Joshua Gray, and three sisters: Nadine Morgan, Angel Gray and Zenata Gray
â€¢ Sister Nadine Morgan is the associate head coach at Purdue, and played collegiately at James Madison, while sister Angel Gray played at Florida State and currently works as a reporter for the Atlanta Dream (WNBA) and Fox Sports 1
â€¢ Intends to major in sports management
â€¢ High school coaches are Dennis C. Watkins and Reginald Harris
â€¢ Ranked as the nation's 113th-best recruit by Blue Star
â€¢ Named to AAU All-Star teams at the USJN Indy 500, Windy City Classic and Bluestar Nationals
â€¢ High school teammate Kaliyah Mitchell currently plays at Penn State
The Book on Dominique Oden -- ESPNW
Oden is a highly-touted combo guard, hailing from the same high school as Boilermaker standout Drey Mingo in Atlanta. Like both of her future teammates, Oden also has a high basketball IQ, which combined with a dynamic offensive game makes her very dangerous. She is very solid in the midrange shooting game, but is also solid in a one-on-one setting and can get to the rim. Defensively, Oden makes use of her length to gain an advantage and an explosive first step gets her to the boards at a high level.
As impressive as her on-court accomplishments are Oden is more impressive in the classroom, where she boasts an exceptional grade point average. She intends to study architectural engineering at Purdue, choosing the Boilermakers over a few Ivy League suitors and in-state rival Notre Dame.
"Dominique brings so much to the table, it's difficult to pick what her best attribute is," said Versyp. "Averaging nearly a double-double a game last year with 22 points and almost 10 rebounds is so impressive, but her work in the classroom and community is even more so. She's another player that just makes people around her better, and we're thrilled to have her bring that quality to Purdue."
â€¢ Three-year varsity letterwinner at the Marist School in Atlanta
â€¢ Hit the 1,000-point career scoring mark in her junior season
â€¢Averaged 22.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game in her junior season
â€¢ Named Marist's top offensive player as a junior and sophomore and their top defensive player as a freshman
â€¢ Led her team to the 2015 AAAA Regional Championship
â€¢ Named Second Team All-State in 2015 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution
â€¢ Averaged 16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game as a sophomore
â€¢ Four-year honor roll student at Marist and a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society
â€¢ Full name is Dominique Gibaud Oden
â€¢ Born April 7, 1998 in New Orleans, Louisiana
â€¢ Is the daughter of Marquis and Trudy Oden
â€¢ Has three sisters: Diamond, Diarra and Divine
â€¢ Intends to major in architectural engineering
â€¢ High school coaches are Kim Hixon, Jennifer West and Dan Dutton
â€¢ Rated a three-star player by ESPN HoopGurlz, and the No. 27 point guard in the nation
â€¢ Named the No. 74 recruit in the country by JumpOffPlus/Prospectsnation.com
â€¢ Attends the same high school as 2013 honorable mention All-American Drey Mingo